Sunday, April 17, 2011

Holy Cow

Like many of the best things in my collection, I found the Weber Scientific Cow by accident.

At BreyerFest that year (2003), I had made up my mind, more or less, to focus on non-equines. I hadn’t completely ignored them up to that point, but my collection was definitely … lacking in that department. I wasn’t planning on buying up Woodgrains or other rarities, just the right kind of pieces at the right kind of prices.

I can’t remember the exact time I got to the sales tent in 2003, but I do remember it being a couple degrees less crazy than it is today. It was still possible back then to get a decent night’s sleep and make it to the sales tent before all the "goodies" were gone. There would be some random items thrown in from time to time, like the Buffalo Skull Bolo Tie reissues, but most of it back then consisted of old regular runs, Holiday and QVC Specials - good stuff, but nothing worth throwing a punch for.

Anyway, as I was making my way around the sales area, I spotted a pile of plain white shipper boxes marked "Holstein Cow," and priced at $25.00. My first thought: it must be the then-current release of the #402 Holstein. My second thought: I don’t have one yet, and the price is right. Onto my buy pile she went.

The packaging did strike me as a little odd, but I initially dismissed it as a mail-order catalog repack thing. JC Penney and Sears sold regular run items from their Christmas Catalogs in shipper boxes. The Cows could have been for some other mail-order client I wasn’t aware of at the time.

I didn’t think too much about it until later in the day, when I was back at the hotel unpacking my day’s worth of treasures. I opened up the box and - gosh, what’s this crazy tag? Wait a minute - there’s a blue logo on her hip! Holy cow, it’s a Special Run Cow!

I fell back on my bed and started laughing hysterically. The neatest, coolest and possibly rarest thing in the tent that year, and by sheer, dumb luck, I just happened to get one. Yay for me!

Weber Scientific makes products for the dairy and food processing industry. They have a Frequent Buyer’s Program that operates like a lot of other rewards program you might be enrolled in: the more stuff you buy, the more points you earn, which you then apply to the free gift of your choice. Back in 2001, one of those gifts was this Cow.

Other than the tag and the logo, she’s identical to the #402 Holstein Cow, though considerably scarcer. How much scarcer, I do not know. I can’t recall seeing more than two or three for sale since I acquired mine, so I’m guessing pretty darn.

The tag is nothing remarkable, just a listing of fun facts about "The Holstein-Friesian" that I assume most clients would have already known. "Holsteins dominate the United States’ dairy industry." "The average productive life of a Holstein is 3-4 years." And "Holsteins are large, stylish animals with black and white color patterns."

("Stylish?" Alrighty, then.)

Weber Scientific still runs their Frequent Buyer’s Program, but the current rewards - hoodies, watches, gourmet cheeses - are somewhat less exciting than a Special Run Breyer Cow.


Anonymous said...

Never knew about this cow... but what a cutie!

GWR said...

Yay obscure SRs!

Anonymous said...

I've got one, as well. She is in my "Herd" right next to the RR cows, but I did get her in the NPOD in 2003, as well. Fun.

Stockstill Stables said...

Very cool. Im just getting into the bovines. Do you know who sculpted the new SM Herefords? I have them and the SM Holstein.

Next on my list is the Brahma Bull. I had the glossing walking hereford but hes gone.

Anonymous said...

Very neat! I never knew about this cow. She's pretty. :)

beforetheRfell said...

The Weber cow was offered to dealers on a close-out/promotional price list before Breyerfest that year. It was simply listed as "Holstein Cow" with a special run product number.